Tell us what you see: annotating the Royal Museum for Central Africa’s collections on Historypin

The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) visited Historypin in London beginning of May to learn more about crowdsourcing and to discuss ways of engaging people with their priceless collection of food and drink related photographs taken in colonial Africa. This workshop was organised as part of the community engagement work in the Europeana Food and Drink project.


The RMCA is a respected cultural institution from Belgium, collecting material relating to Central Africa and providing a platform for current debate about Africa. Historypin is a website where communities and organisations can contribute their local and regional history.

Dieter and Joke at the Historypin headquarters, London. The market in Lusambo, from the Royal Museum of Central Africa’s collection
Dieter and Joke at the Historypin headquarters, London. The market in Lusambo, from the Royal Museum of Central Africa’s collection
Tell us what you see

Dieter and Joke from the RMCA met up with Lise from Historypin to talk about how they could showcase their great photographic collection to their audiences, as well as how they could use Historypin’s crowdsourcing tools to generate engagement and annotations.

As a result of the workshop, the RMCA will upload around 350 of their photographs from the Europeana Food and Drink content base to Historypin.org and ask their audiences to comment on the photo and describe the people, scenes and activities in it. These comments can then be pulled back to Europeana, as well as to RMCA’s own content management system, through Historypin’s API.  

An example of the comment section on Historypin.org, where users can contribute their descriptions of the photographs
Users can contribute their descriptions of the photos on Historypin.org

As Dieter said: “I would recommend uploading your collections to Historypin to everyone. It is a very easy way to get your collections out there where they can be seen. Being able to get your content enriched by your audiences on a nice looking platform is great, especially if you can then pull back these enrichments to your own database.”


The RMCA and Historypin will launch their crowdsourcing campaign in June 2016.

By Lise Schauer, Historypin

 

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